By Joseph Staszewski
Christ the King’s Jon Severe entered Mount St. Michael looking to make up for previous disappointments.
The senior guard shot uncharacteristically badly in his team’s win over Holy Cross earlier in the week and hadn’t forgotten that the Mountaineers handed the Royals an early exit in last year’s playoffs.
“I took it personally,” Severe said. “They knocked us out of the playoffs when it wasn’t supposed to happen. This year as a senior I wasn’t going to let that happen.”
He more than made up by scoring 41 points — including 23 during a blistering first-half shooting display. It was more than enough to lead the Royals to a comfortable 77-56 win over host Mount St. Michael in CHSAA Class AA boys’ basketball last Thursday. Jordan Fuchs added 12 points, including a highlight reel slam. Malik Harmon and Travis Atoson each had six points.
“When Jon gets it going, he is tough to stop because he’s not just a three-point shooter,” said Royals Coach Joe Arbitello, who recently notched his 100th career win.
Severe blamed his poor shooting against Holy Cross on a pre-game workout with renowned Christ the King trainer Anton Turkovic, which tired his legs. He joked that won’t be happening again.
“That’s the last time I ever let him touch me before the game,” Severe said.
Arbitello was happy with his team’s defensive effort even after the Royals hit eight treys in the game. He challenged his club to clamp down after leading 23-15 after the first quarter. Christ the King went on to hold Mount to just eight second quarter points and took a 38-23 lead into the break. A Malik Harmon layup to open the second half after multiple offensive rebounds and CK winning a loose ball told Arbitello his team was locked in.
“I said at that point our team is ready to go in the second half,” Arbitello said.
CK is happy to be home and getting into the bulk of league play after spending much of November and December playing in numerous tournaments out of state. It was a grueling return playing four league games and five contests total in eight days. They earned a thrilling overtime win over St. Raymond 94-92 last Friday and fell to Boys & Girls 67-64 the next day. It’s a stretch they feel will only make them stronger moving forward.
“It’s fun, but its starting to take a toll on my body, this back-to-back,” Fuchs said. “After this week we should be use to it.”